• The Lake House

  • By: Kate Morton
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lee
  • Length: 21 hrs and 24 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (20,332 ratings)

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The Lake House

By: Kate Morton
Narrated by: Caroline Lee
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Publisher's Summary

Living on her family’s gorgeous lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, clever, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented 14 year old who loves to write stories. But the mysteries she pens are no match for the one her family is about to endure....

One midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest son, Theo, has vanished without a trace. What follows is a tragedy that tears the family apart in ways they never imagined, leaving their estate as empty as their broken hearts.

Nearly 60 years later, having enjoyed a long, successful career as an author, Alice is now 80 years old and living in London. Theo’s case has never been solved, though Alice still harbours a suspicion as to the culprit.

Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather’s house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old estate - now crumbling and covered with vines, clearly abandoned long ago. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone... yet more present than ever.

A lush, atmospheric tale of intertwined destinies, this latest novel from a masterful storyteller is spellbinding and satisfying.

©2015 Kate Morton (P)2015 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

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What listeners say about The Lake House

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    12,682
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    5,299
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  • 2 Stars
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    352

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed the writing, but oy vey, this book

This was my first Kate Morton experience. I will say that I like her writing style and the way she layered the story and layered the character developments. However, I was disappointed with this book. I am in the minority of reviewers who found “the twists and turns” to be annoying instead of engrossing. The “twists and turns” were more often than not red herrings/mis-direction — one direction, then another over and over and over again for 18+ hours. The mis-directions honestly read as lazy writing, especially from someone acclaimed to be a great storyteller. Too much supposition, not enough real intrigue. I had to force myself to continue thru to the end. And then the ending!! Ugh. It was so outlandish, yet too tidy and pat — I unwittingly yelled out loud, on the subway, "You've f***ing got to be kidding!"

Because I like her prose and the ways she constructs a story — and many reviewers say her other books are better — I'm going to give Kate Morton one more try.

256 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

BRAVO!!!!!!!

I am an enormous Kate Morton fan, as well as a devoted Caroline Lee fan. I believe wholeheartedly that The Lake House is the best yet for both women. I listened nearly straight through -- up until the point about 4 hours from the end when I realized I was getting too close to the last words and forced myself to slow it down. I wanted it to last forever! While some puzzle pieces were simple enough to figure out from early on, others were a complete surprise at the end. Caroline Lee was once again brilliant, and narrated the entire book perfectly from start to finish. I couldn't even imagine a Kate Morton book without her voice in my head. The scenes of Cornwall were deliciously descriptive, and made me want to visit. The carefully woven web of the plot was superb, and I felt so incredibly satisfied at the end. All in all, a terrific book! The only downside is that I have to once again wait patiently for the next...

238 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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The Morton Formula


When I began reading Morton I envisioned some grande dame writing her novels from an aging manor in the English countryside. I was surprised to finally see that this Australian author, that so deftly slips her readers into chapters from history, is about the same age as my own daughter. The Lake House takes place in Cornwall, England between 1930 and about 2003, following the tried and true formula that Morton has used from the beginning of her career: submersive period pieces that neatly tie a past mystery to a moment of intrigue in the future. The mystery here revolves around the abduction of a well-to-do family's (Anthony and Eleanor Edevane) infant son, taken from their estate during a party at their grand estate. The case was retired, never solved.

....Cut to 2003, where a troubled Detective Constable Sadie Sparrow (with secrets of her own), becomes intrigued with the old case and searches out one of the kidnapped infant's sisters. Alice Edevane is a famous mystery/crime writer, advanced in years and very ill. What follows is a complex story that unravels with a surprise around every corner.

Morton never disappoints even though she doesn't stray from her formulaic structure and some *coincidences* are a little hard to swallow. The textured and layered story keeps you too busy to dwell on any awkward contrivances, following along as every detailed is put into place. Her characters are more definitive of central casting than out of central casting, all integral parts of the story, both physically and psychologically drawn. Lake House seemed to have a larger cast involved in the plot than her other books, and felt at times like keeping track of Orange A while juggling Oranges A, B, C, & D.

You may find yourself wondering if you've missed a turn somewhere along the line and wandered passed a landmark you've seen before if you have read her other books; a tiny problem with such formulaic reads by authors with a definitive style. But, it is entertaining and moves quickly, and who doesn't enjoy a little sleuthing in an old English estate with a mysterious past? Recommend to fans of this genre.

234 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Tedious!

This book dragged on forever! The story could have been good if one half the length. I was so glad when it was finally over! I love listening to Caroline Lee but even she could not endear me to this book. I found myself drifting off over and over and having no idea what had been read for the last 10 minutes. I kept rewinding and relistening for the first half of the book. By the 2nd half, I didn't care enough to rewind. The only reason I kept listening was I had nothing else to do in my commute time and I really did want to know how the story ended. It was just painful getting to the end.

78 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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So Boring

I had to return this book. It wasn’t a mystery. It was just a long boring story. It was very hard to follow.

74 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Slow...

I struggled with this book. The first half was a very slow build and spent a lot of time on back story for the characters. I just couldn't figure out where it was going and what exactly was filler and what was important.
There were a lot of mini "cliffhangers" throughout the book that just made me want to scream "get on with it! " It was like the author wanted to save all the drama up to the last minute. Which she did... and which ended up having the effect of my being able to spot most of the twists before they came. Especially the final twist. Which I not only saw coming, but I also felt buttoned this story up a little too nicely. I am actually a big fan of "Murder She Wrote" for the fun, campy mysteries, but those storylines that are summed up in a half hour should not be drawn out into a 10+hour book.
If it were shorter I think I might have enjoyed the book much more. I did like the setting, the switch back and forth in time period, and the two storylines coming together. It just needed a good dose of editing down and not as many little rabbit holes for the characters to meander down.
Overall I can't say I would recommend it unless you're looking for an easy summer read you can put down and pick up frequently as your interest desires.

68 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A fairy tale for adults

A wonderfully written book with mysteries within mysteries. I could not stop listening, but did not want it to end! 5 stars!

64 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Oh no, the end.

I have found a new author and will be expecting another just as great as this one. The beginning was a Little slow but I am glad I stayed with it until the story picked up. Another twist or two and just when you think you have the ending figured out you learn you don't. I highly recommend this wonderful story with a unexpected ending!

61 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story but…...

Why do audio producers select narrators with totally the wrong accent? It was so grating to hear an Australian narrator read a book set in England - a story populated by characters from the Upper Middle class back in the 1930's ….. it just sounds so wrong!
The story weaves across 70 years, and tells three parallel stories - both involving children, one lost, one abandoned, and one given up. The story is about their families and the impact of loss upon so many people. The author keeps you guessing - at one moment you think you know what happened to the lost child - only to have your bubble of certainty popped! Kate Morton crafted a great story as always but I was so distracted by the narrator's accent that it spoiled the experience for me.

57 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Slow Getting Into, But Then Impossible to Put Down

It took me a while to become invested in this story: partly because the many shifts between various point-of-views and time periods. There's quite a bit of exposition, I felt, in the beginning, also. Necessary information but not necessarily interesting.

Yet it's easy to care about the two central characters, Alice and Sadie, right from the start--they are interesting and likable.. That, along with Caroline Lee's superb narrative style, provided enough incentive to keep listening until things really got good. By mid-way through, the mystery and the plights of the various characters had me hooked. I didn't want to stop listening.

I'll admit, though, mostly because this is what I was in the mood for, I was hoping for a bit more romance. Besides the relationship between Eleanor and Anthony, though, very little of the story is about love or romance. The theme is mainly focused on parental devotion to children/the things a loving parent would do for a child, and the resolution of mysteries. The stories of the multiple characters intertwine perfectly to this end, making this a very satisfying book to read/listen to.

I first found this book because I love Liane Moriarty books and Caroline Lee is the narrator for a couple of them... I'm so glad I did. While this book cannot be precisely compared to Moriarty's style of fiction, there is much about The Lake House that will appeal appeal to Moriarty fans. I'd especially recommend The Lake House to readers who enjoyed The Last Anniversary and The Husband's Secret.

53 people found this helpful

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  • PatriciaK
  • 10-30-17

Caroline Lee is excellent!

I like bed this book and it was brought to life beautifully by the narrator! I would listen to anything she read.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Marion
  • 07-02-19

wonderful read

beautifully written and narrated. was sorry to come to the end as it was so enjoyable!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Czarniecka
  • 01-09-17

a great book

I read in one of the comments before reading this book that it was probably the best if the duo Kate Morton-Caroline Lee and it's very true. The book is beautifully written and read! I totally recommand it!